This paper contributes to this emerging field of using open badges to study learning in a Higher Education context. It focuses on a project that was launched in a research lab at the Coventry University (UK) in 2015 to build an application for the administration and distribution of open badges. The project includes the integration of open badges in learning programmes within the university, which pilot the use of open badges with students and tutors to investigate the opportunities provided by this concept and the challenges related to it. The project primarily aims to examine the students and the tutors’ views on the implementation of the badging concept. In addition to this, it seeks to utilise the strong connections Coventry University has with local and associated industry to investigate the potential deployment and value the open badges concept may have from the viewpoint of the industry stakeholders.
The paper focuses on the first phase of this project that served to inform its research design. An additional aim of this phase was to raise awareness among the stakeholders. Hence, the paper describes the development of partnership work with key stakeholders within the university (i.e. students, tutors, head of departments, university deans, management boards, admissions staff) and also reaching out to the industry (e.g. Jaguar Land Rover). The paper will report findings from the partnership work as well as lessons learnt from the implementation of this phase. Particular attention will be drawn to interview data collected from these stakeholders expressing views around the open badges concept.
Essentially the paper highlights matters that need to be taken into account in the deployment of an open badge system within a university and the challenges related to it, as well as future considerations. The findings are important for designers and practitioners that seek to use openly networked technologies to connect diverse learning experiences and settings.
Davis, K. and Singh, S. (2015) Digital badges in afterschool learning: Documenting the perspectives and experiences of students and educators. Computers & Education, 88, p.72–83
Sharples et al. (2013) Innovating Pedagogy 2013. Innovation Report 2. The Open University: Milton Keynes